Margot Molina Elías

Information is Power in the Mining Industry

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 16:59

It is no secret that information is power. Aware of this, the high tech solutions company Teknol, based in Sonora’s capital Hermosillo, took on the task of gathering data and information that was previously spread across a number of government agencies, with the aim of helping companies to find viable mining projects in Mexico. “There are many companies that have huge amounts of information and big databases, however if this information is not processed, and there is no knowledge of how to use it, it ends up being useless,” says Margot Molina Elías, CEO of Teknol. Before Teknol developed its technologies, any company or mining project that required mine prospecting information had to go directly to the Mexican Geological Survey (SGM) or to the General Directorate for Mining (DGM), which could mean long waiting time incurred fees, and travel expenses.

The idea for Teknol emerged a few years back, when the experience and knowledge of a college professor was combined with a student’s vision. A business was born, and it entered into the ‘business incubator’ program at the Tecnológico de Monterrey of Sonora. Molina admits that, even though from the beginning Teknol combined great capacity for data analysis with great software, the company did not really know who it should direct its efforts towards. Further down the line it became clear that the area of greatest opportunity for the company was in the mining industry and the company is now dedicated to processing huge quantities of information and transforming it in the most user-friendly and clear format possible.

Molina Elías explains that the SGM has collected very valuable geological information on the Mexican territory over six decades: “This information, combined with our technology, has resulted in what is known as GeoInfoMex, which allows the user to visualize and analyze information from the SGM, the DGM, and the National Agrarian Registry (RAN), and to consult 18 data categories in a very intuitive and user-friendly way.” Teknol facilitates access to this information with the ultimate aim of attracting foreign investment to the Mexican mining industry. The information can be accessed from anywhere in the world through an online platform via the company’s website, as well as from any of the regional SGM offices, through one of the multitouch Edge DisplayStation screens. “GeoInfoMex is useful for companies that are at the prospecting stage, since through this software it is possible to access all of the SGM’s geological, geophysics, and geochemistry data, as well as information on main deposits, radiometric data analysis, active mining claims, and agrarian tenures, along with much more information. In this application we have included a very useful tool called Density Maps, which allows the user to select an element of interest and view all of the zones that have geochemical anomalies for that element. However, its main advantage is the data it provides on all active mining claims and ejidos, which allows the user to know with whom each negotiation will be taking place, as the project continues through the exploration and exploitation stages,” Molina Elías adds.

Another product that Teknol provides for the mining industry is the QuickMining Library. Through a subscription the user is provided access to public domain information that was previously scattered between different government agencies, and which mining companies often requested. This includes information on rereleased mining concessions, withdrawn mining applications, NI-43101 reports, the geodesic mining subnet, geo-referenced articles from different magazines, digital theses and, most importantly, new applications for mining concessions. One of the most relevant features of this service is that Teknol has sent employees to the DGMs in different states of the country in order to gather information from files that form part of the concession application process, with the aim of geo-referencing them for easy consultation. Molina Elías explains that the subscription includes the QuickAlert tool, which allows the user to define an area of interest for a potential project and subsequently sends an alert as soon as a new mining concession application is processed in the designated area: “This can give companies the certainty that an area is 100% free to be claimed.” Though the main challenge has been obtaining the information and displaying it in the most user friendly way, keeping it up to date has also been crucial, which is why Teknol updates its database once a week.

Mexico’s huge mining potential and increasing foreign investment is driving Teknol’s aggressive marketing campaign in the US, aimed at communicating the company’s services to foreign companies. “In turn, the country then becomes of interest to foreign investment. Our company wants to continue seeking innovation on every project we create, and to be leaders in generating technology solutions and anticipating market needs. It is simple: we want to be recognized by the quality of our service, integrity, and our excellent team,” Molina Elías adds.